£2.6m more for Scotland's 'Hospital at Home' transformation programme

Further funding has been announced to provide short-term care for acutely unwell patients in their own homes.

The additional £2.6 million has been shared between ten health boards so they can continue to develop Hospital at Home services to avoid admissions to hospital. This brings total funding to just under £4 million.

Evidence shows this particularly benefits frail and elderly patients, since hospital admissions are associated with higher rates of delirium and increased chances of admission directly to care homes. A patient’s ability to function can also deteriorate while they are in hospital, meaning they have higher needs for community care when they are discharged, and are also more likely to experience a delay in their discharge from hospital.

Being cared for by Hospital at Home increases the likelihood a patient can continue living at home six months after a period of acute illness, without being admitted to a care home.

"We know hospitals are often not the best places for frail older people. Hospital at Home provides a safe and cost-effective alternative which focuses on the individual patient’s needs," Scottish Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said. "We know older people are increasing in numbers and occupy a large proportion of hospital beds when they become frail. If some of these admissions can be avoided, with improved outcomes for patients, everyone benefits."

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